Our students have been busy with a variety of activities this year and we thought it appropriate they share their reflections on what events have been particular highlights…
Here are Oli’s thoughts on the US Presidential Election Vote and General Election Vote we had in school…
This year has been a huge year for international politics.
Firstly, we had the inauguration of Donald trump on the 20th of January and then of course on the 8th of June, the UK held a snap election, which had been called by Theresa May.
Now, we love some political debate here at AHS, and so, in school, Miss Wilde and Miss Battison organised whole-school votes that allowed us, as students, have our say on who we’d like to see in charge of the most powerful country in the world, as well as our own country. The fact that the school community came together to vote proves that there is a growing interest in politics amongst young people. Personally, I was extremely happy when both elections were called, as I had become really interested in the outcomes of both elections, due to debates I’d been having with my friends.
Around school, I’ve noticed a growing number of students talking about politics with their peers, which I think is really encouraging, as some newspapers love to claim that young people are apathetic towards political debate.
Overall, I think both elections held within school this year have created a huge interest in global political affairs. But who did we vote into power…?
We decided that we’d rather have Clinton than Trump, which didn’t quite go our way, as well as Corbyn instead of May, which again didn’t reflect the national vote. Ah well, I suppose this is merely proof that we should lower the voting age in the UK and beyond…
Here are Marta’s thoughts on acting as a guide when we hosted The Anne Frank Exhibition back in February…
I’ve always been aware of Anne Frank’s story, but before I acted as a guide on behalf of The Anne Frank Trust, I only knew that a girl called Anne had hidden from the Nazis, been killed during the Holocaust and had written a diary that was rather famous. Little did I know, that there was so much more to Anne Frank…
Miss Wilde gave me the opportunity to participate in presenting one part of Anne’s story, along with other members of the Anti-Prejudice and Discrimination group here in school. My peers and I were given training by Abi from The Trust, who spent a day and a half with us, talking us through what life was like for Anne’s parents before she was even born, what her childhood was like, how the Nazis changed life for the Jews over time, what life was like for Anne in hiding, and the time she spent at a concentration camp before she died.
We split Anne’s life story into six parts – I was really worried that I wouldn’t do my part justice – there seemed so much to remember! But, over the two weeks, I felt like I got to know Anne better and could therefore explain to others how she felt during her time in hiding. I brought her diary to life by reading extracts and pointing at pictures to exemplify her thoughts and feelings.
I delivered Anne’s story to primary pupils, my peers, those who were older than me in Year 9, as well as parents and governors and, despite my nerves and anxieties, I loved it!
I feel truly honoured to have had a role to play in sharing Anne’s story with others. The whole experience has opened my eyes and made me more aware of the darker side of humanity. It’s shown me that we have to stand up and rise against prejudice and discrimination, so that Anne’s experiences don’t end up being someone else’s.
Diversity is a beautiful thing and we should be proud of who we are and never be made to feel ashamed of it, or hide it. We should be proud of where we’re from and all the things that make us unique.
Here are Harrison’s thoughts on why he decided to put himself through the gruelling process required to become a Prefect…
When I was in year 9, I decided that I wanted to run for the role of the form representative for what was at the time 9Sw. To my surprise, I found that I was chosen by my form to represent their opinions at school council. Furthermore, I was then elected by school council to be the year representative for the whole year group. I really enjoyed this experience! It was great putting the ideas of my peers forward and seeing changes made, or explaining to them why something couldn’t happen.
I extremely enjoyed working with other students of all ages from our school community, especially designing the new school menu and canteen layout. I think we’d all agree both our loads better and look really impressive!
When I was in year 10, Miss Wilde advertised for a new team of Year 10 Prefects, who would take over from year 11, so that they could concentrate on their exams. I knew that I had to apply, so I wrote my letter of application, which saw me have to explain what I think is brilliant about AHS, why I believe our school Values are so important and what I thought we needed to be even better at.
Before I knew it, I was sitting in front of Miss Wilde, Mr Williams (my Head of Year) and Mr Daly being interviewed about my ideas…. Nerve wracking to say the least, but also a lot of fun!
I managed to be selected and soon found myself working on things I had no idea us students had any control over! So far, I’ve acted as a Buddy to a primary school pupil, helped organise charity events, acted as a Guide at Open Evening, been involved in a variety of Student Voice spin-off groups, as well as design a new page for the school website!
As I approach the final year of my secondary education, I often wonder where I will go and what I will do. I’m still uncertain, but what I do know is that becoming a form representative last year and a Prefect this year has given me so much confidence, which in turn will give me lots of options in the future!
Here are Erika’s thoughts on being a Reading Mentor this year at one of our local primary schools, as well as here at AHS…
This year, I’ve been one of many students who have given up their time to volunteer in one of local primaries or here at Archie’s, in order to support pupils with their reading; helping them to develop in confidence and learn to love getting lost in a good book – one of life’s simple, but very enjoyable pleasures!
At the start of the year, I was a Reading Mentor to a year 6 child at Osbaldwick Primary School. I especially enjoyed this, because the girl I was working with was so enthusiastic about me reading with her and it was great to see her improve over time! She was always so happy to see me and I was eager to spend time with her too. I can honestly say that the whole experience was positive, especially when the teacher from Osbaldwick emailed our school to comment on what a great job us Reading Mentors and the Maths Mentors, who’d also been supporting pupils with their numeracy skills, had done during the months we’d spent there.
I feel really proud that I’ve helped someone progress with their reading and feel that volunteering in this way has given me confidence too. I wholeheartedly recommend others get involved in some form of service – it’s a really good way of meeting new people and experiencing new situations.
Once the pupil I was working with had to buckle down for SATS preparation and we had to turn our attention to End of Year Assessments and Mocks, I started helping out with the Paired Reading programme back at school, during afternoon registration with year 7 and 8 students. Just like my experiences at Osbaldwick, I’m finding this is also hugely rewarding and is a great way of getting to know younger students here at Archie’s.